Feb 4, 2011: Wintry Mix Tomorrow, More On Tuesday

After a very cold morning, with low temperatures slightly below zero inland, temperatures quickly warmed into the mid 30s across the area along with partly cloudy skies. Cloud cover is moving in due to a storm approaching the area from the south and southwest, which will bring a mixed precipitation event to the area tomorrow.

Tomorrow’s Outlook: Rain Near Coast, Mix Inland

The storm approaching the area is pushing out the cold air mass that was previously over the region, with 850 mb temperatures expected to eventually rise above 0c for the entire area. Light precipitation may make it early enough for light snow tomorrow morning north and west of NYC, though the eastern parts of the area and the immediate NYC area should quickly change over to rain, with less than 1 inch of snow expected north and west of NYC, less than 1/2 inch in NYC and little to no accumulation near the coast. Further inland, the snow will change over to a wintry mix, with a changeover to rain also possible by the late afternoon. In the evening, mixed precipitation may fall again before the storm ends.

There is some slight uncertainty with the exact snow totals due to an unusual spread in the last minute with the models, though it appears that at least 1 to 3 inches of snow and sleet are possible for the western parts of the area, where I have a Light Snow Alert in effect. In New York City and further east, there is the potential for at least 1/4 inch of rain, which combined with temperatures in the mid 30s to lower 40s, should slightly melt the snow pack but prevent major flooding. It is possible that the exact scenario could be slightly different than the one mentioned above, and storm updates will be posted on this throughout the day tomorrow.

Sunday – Tuesday: Warming Up, Then Another Storm

As mentioned yesterday, temperatures will warm up across the area by Sunday, reaching the 40s across the area on Monday. By the overnight hours, however, there is increasing uncertainty as some models develop a coastal low instead of a weak storm moving through the Northeast, bringing light to moderate rain/snow to the area. There is still uncertainty with this time frame, though this potential will be watched, and for now I went with a 50% chance of rain/snow for Monday night.

Late Next Week: Another Storm Potential

Yesterday, I mentioned how the models were showing a major storm for the area. Last night’s 00z GFS run also showed a big snowstorm, with over a foot for a widespread part of the area, however today’s runs have backed down from the threat, most notably the GFS which barely even had a storm in its 18z run. As of this afternoon, the ECMWF is the strongest model, showing what appears to be a significant snowstorm for parts of, if not most of the area. The GGEM also shows a storm, however it is not a very strong one.

The GFS’ bias is likely coming into play with its solutions, as it sometimes tends to shows suppressed/progressive solutions in its medium-longer range before showing the storm potential again in the shorter range, and from looking at its last few runs, it does not seem to have a good handle on the storm, therefore I am leaning towards the western solutions at this time. While an out to sea storm is a possibility, at this time it appears that the storm may affect the area, with the storm either taking a track too far to the south/east to spare the area of any significant impacts, a track in between with a major snowstorm, or a western track with a mix for the area. Stay tuned for more information on this storm.

Tomorrow, a long range update will be updated discussing what may happen after this storm and the potential pattern change that may finally bring at least a temporarily milder patter than the one we have been seeing.

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